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To what extent have logical positivists proved that God talk is meaningless When Ludwig Wittgenstein wrote The world is all that is the case The world is the totality of facts and not of things he was not only beginning a book but also a movement in philosophy called Logical Positivism Wittgenstein was not the founder of this new movement but rather it came from a group of thinkers in Vienna in the 1920s called the Vienna Circle who took his ideas to create what they called the Verification Principle In the theological domain their greatest challenge to religion came in the form of a refutation of metaphysics thus it is a philosophy that places a great deal on that which can be tested and observed by the senses rather than postulated by reason The Verification Principle tried to show that the meaning of a statement lies in its method of verification For example the statements All cats are cats and 2 2 4 are necessary statements They state nothing beyond the meaning expressed in the content of the statement and can be proved to be true There are however other statements such as It rained on Tuesday that need to be tested to know if they are true These statements only become true if after testing they can be found to be true Eg I saw it raining on Tuesday Thus the Verification Principle locates sense and meaning with experience Despite variations on the theme of the Verification Principle Eg soft and hard versions this was the distinctive doctrine of Logical Positivism The statement God exists is not proveable or unfalsifiable We cannot say whether it is true or false This is because God is not a fact that can be observed and subjected to testing People do not see God in this way Theology might be considered by many people to be a science but to then say that God
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